After two years of virtual only events, the Israel Mobile Summit took place on June 22nd, 2022 in Tel Aviv for in-person panels and networking opportunities. YouAppi’s Senior Vice President of Growth, Hilit Mioduser, joined Maggy Katz, Senior User Acquisition Manager at Huuuge Games, Lead Account Specialist at Aarki, Daniel Shachori, Tal Turpaz, Head of Business Development for Bluethrone, Remerge’s Director of Management Games EMEA, Valeria Lovato and Will Meltzer, the VP Sales EMEA at Moloco to discuss advanced user acquisition and retention techniques. The panel went beyond the basics to dive deep into cutting edge ways to get and keep users, how creatives and ad formats can be as precise as possible and looking at ways to perform smart A/B testing in order to maximize retargeting efforts.

Below we outline the discussion between these experts – if you're interested in viewing the live stream, you can do so here

Maggy: First question, what are some of the UA strategies and trends being adopted by media buying partners that developers could benefit from?

Will: One of the biggest trends we’ve seen is diversification. With all the changes in the space we’ve seen a need for new diversification of cross channel types for example multiple DSPs, 

This is a key focus and we recommend using multiple partners. Another trend is creative optimization and a focus on creative iteration and testing. There is a rise of studios and vendors providing creative support or creative testing algorithms. 

Maggy: Are there any activities you have done recently that have worked and are worth sharing?

Tal: We are seeing a huge rise in the use of influencers for app marketing. What is interesting is that the apps that are utilizing influencer marketing are not just Gen Z focused apps but from all different verticals. There is a reason why Vungle purchased Jet Fuel – it is a growing trend that we believe is going to grow in the future. 

Another example of something that has worked for us is focusing on not just the app itself but also the users and the community. We most recently began a campaign where we created a contest between the users and each user got their own link to share in order to enter the competition. This drove a ton of free, organic traffic of users who are already similar to those using the app. 

Maggy: When speaking about “out of the norm” activities, what would you say are the differences between working with a DSP versus directly with a network?

Will: Good question. We get called a network quite a lot – I consider us a sort of “robot media buyer” on a DSP. We optimize on a programmatic basis and target on a CPM and user level rather than targeting on a publisher level and that has some very significant practices. We need data in order to perform and we perform on an increased scale slightly slower than on a network's typical life cycle. The actual amount of time needs to be factored into budget and timelines when working with a DSP partner. 

Daniel: Just to add – with networks you’re more limited while with a DSP you’re immediately connected to a wider range of inventory and allows you to be more of a one stop shop for the variety of optimizations you want to do. I think we’re going into a stage where there are more DSP options.

Hilit: I worked with networks for about ten years and one thing I will say is that technology is a key factor when working with a DSP. For example, there are more features and advanced technology to buy more effectively and efficiently. Additionally, there is more of an opportunity to have quality scale with a DSP as opposed to networks. 

Maggy: Some marketers still favor UA over Retargeting, how do these marketing strategies compliment each other? What is your advice to marketers that are hesitant to run retargeting campaigns right now?

Valeria: The first thing to ask is why are they hesitant to run retargeting. They could just be focusing on UA because they have just launched the app, in which case it is good that they are focusing purely on UA because to start retargeting you need a certain user base. If they are hesitant because they aren't sure of the value, there are many factors to consider. For example, if the app is at a mature stage, acquiring a new valuable user becomes more and more expensive – we’ve even heard it can be as high as $80 in the United States. This is when retargeting comes into place because it compliments the UA efforts by protecting the money that you spent in UA to ensure that you don’t lose those users. 

Hilit: I agree with a lot of what Valeria mentioned. I think one very important thing to note is that it always needs to be a win win. You need sufficient user level data and to be in the optimal business stage before launching a retargeting campaign. Additionally, having the ability to have the technology in house and to monitor success is super important in ensuring success with retargeting. 

Maggy: At what business stage is it recommended to add retargeting strategies to your media mix?

Valeria: What we do is look at the daily active users to see if they meet the optimal benchmark. For a successful retargeting campaign you need a specific amount of users to feed into the algorithm to bring the best performance. 

Hilit: One more thing to look at in addition to having a sufficient number of users is to understand the business model of the advertiser. Understanding if the app is subscription based or if there are other monetization strategies. You also want to be able to monitor engagement at different levels within the app to find the sweet spot of where the users are. 

Maggy: What are best practices for putting together a segmentation strategy?

Hilit: Segmentation is really like optimization – it is key in retargeting for optimization and is an ongoing process. When creating the segmentation, it is super important to learn about the app as a whole and understand if you can combine the attribution signals, the CRM signals, and any kind of data points in order to create the best segmentation strategy. 

Will: I’d say segmentation is identifying gaps and this is where the lifecycle of the app comes in. You need to be able to predict the lifetime value of any given segment so you don’t double pay for a given user. It’s been touched on but competitions really work to get users to re-engage and come back into a game. 

Daniel: It’s important for advertisers to be flexible, especially with gaming. The more flexible an advertiser is with changing segments, the easier it is for us as a DSP to optimize and find a granular way to get the best ROI. 

Maggy: Some marketers contemplate on the right balance between branding and performance based activities. What’s your take and should there be different KPIs for each of the strategies?

Hilit: Yes! Definitely. We have titles that spend 50% of their budget on retargeting while others are spending only 20%. So it really depends on the app but retargeting always needs to be more effective than user acquisition. You need to buy more effectively with retargeting and expect better KPIs and higher returns. It does differentiate based on the different verticals.

Valeria: I totally agree. In general, with retargeting we don’t see many “branding” types of campaigns, they are usually performance based. We need really clear KPIs that are also flexible because although you run campaigns with an expectation, the data may say something different down the line. 

Maggy: I want to wrap this up with what are the biggest opportunities you see in regards to our topic today?

Hilit: I think that the economic situation is an opportunity. We are all seeing that companies are cutting resources and budgets so we need to be more strategic with our campaigns and how we optimize. Also iOS, different technologies and tools are all opportunities to innovate. I believe we will see a shift in more companies placing their budgets in retargeting. 

Valeria: An opportunity I see is that we have the chance to really understand the user base with the amount of data we have access to – there is more data at our disposal than ever before. 

Will: There is a lot of opportunity in iOS to pick up users that we may have been missing since there has been a drop in spend with Apple. I think we will see more of this in the future.

Tal: I believe that data is key for both retargeting and user acquisition and there are many opportunities in channels that might not be the most flashy such as email marketing. Some of these less used channels have a surprisingly high ROI. 

IMS 2022 Event Recap Takeaways 

  • Make sure your company is ready to run retargeting campaigns before you dive right in. It is important to have an established user base and budget before you can run successful retargeting campaigns. 
  • Know your audience! With gaming specifically, it is essential to know what resonates with your audience and play to those strengths. For example, campaigns that create some sort of competition and rewards between users tend to do well.
  • There are many opportunities in both the user acquisition and retargeting space. It is important to A/B test as well as to try channels that you might have overlooked to see if they have a strong ROI with newer users. 

Interested in learning more about retargeting opportunities?! Chat with our SVP of Growth, Hilit, here!